Tag Archives: Tolerance

Thought For The Day 09/24/14

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The Preacher’s Spouse

Clergy Families Of The 21st Century

Thought 1291

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The-Bishops-Wife--Cd-Cover-27685

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“Every minister worthy of the name has to walk the line between prophetic vision and spiritual sustenance, between telling people the comforting things they want to hear and challenging them with the difficult things they need to hear. In Oxford, Daddy began to feel as though all the members wanted him to do was to marry them and bury them and stay away from their souls.”

Timothy B. Tyson

 “Blood Done Sign My Name: A True Story”

http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/ministers

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One of my all time favorite movies was one that was released in 1947…..67 years ago, and before I was even a twinkle in my father’s eye. It starred Loretta Young, David Niven, and Cary Grant as Dudley, an angel sent to earth to help a Bishop who prayed for divine guidance to build a cathedral but instead, Dudley helps him to find his way back to his faith and back into the arms of his loving family. However, it is the character portrayed by Loretta Young, that I am thinking about with what I write today. In the movie, she plays the silently suffering wife who fears she has lost her husband, the Bishop, to a golden idol, one he zealously pursues at the expense of the things in his life that really matter. And I began to think how often it is that the spouse of those who minister God’s word are so often the forgotten piece of the puzzle that is the life of the person with whom we seek both time and counsel, at all hours of the day and night. Often acting the role that many single parents do, changing the hats they wear and the roles they perform with a speed that could rival Houdini’s speed at escape, if it were not for the self-sacrifice these spouses willingly give, it would be impossible for the clergy member to function in his God-given role! And suddenly I began to wonder if the marriages of these couples survive the challenging life that they have chosen. Are marriage struggles as prevalent among this group of individuals as they are among mainstream marriages?

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According to an LA Times article written in 1995 (1), the marriages of members of the clergy have about the same change of survival as does the marriage of the two people whose union they are blessing as they stand at the altar making their “to have and to hold” forever promises. Especially today, when the clergy role may be just as likely to find either a husband or a wife or a life partner fulfilling the supportive role within the family dynamic. One interesting footnote to the studies done finds that women clergy were more likely to have been divorced before they were ordained, while more male clergy became separated after taking the pulpit. Now there are differences within denominations as to their policies regarding divorced clergy and the roles they are permitted to perform, so there may be inherently fewer divorces among more fundamentalist faiths. However, it seems that, like most people in the world, members of the clergy put their pants on one leg at a time!

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I write this to remind everyone that ministers are just as fallible as are the rest of the members of the human race. They have their warts and foibles and yes, some even wear their very own “Scarlet Letter” branded to their hearts. The one difference is that, unlike almost everyone else in the world, members of the clergy are expected to live exemplary lives and serve as role models for everyone else. Because of this, many will not seek help for their own personal, as well as interpersonal, struggles. Often there exists a degree of naivety regarding the demands that being a minister entails. However, just as it is with the rest of the population, those who willingly acknowledge their very human side, who accept criticism with grace, have a firm and realistic view of their egos, and finally, who have a high regard for the importance of interpersonal relationships, are more likely to not just have successful interpersonal relationships themselves but will also be a much more valuable member of society as a whole. So before you look for that halo above the head of your minister, take a long look in the mirror at yourself and then ask whether you hold unrealistic expectations for the person who seeks to share with you God’s plan for His people!

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He has enabled us to be ministers of his new covenant. This is a covenant not of written laws, but of the Spirit. The old written covenant ends in death; but under the new covenant, the Spirit gives life.

2 Corinthians 3:6 NLT

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Mandy 2014

Copyright © 2011-2014 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 05/06/13

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RED and YELLOW, BLACK and WHITE
They Are Precious In His Sight

CHRISTIAN, BUDDHIST, MUSLIM, JEW
They Are Precious To Him Too!

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An optimist is a person who sees a green light everywhere, while the pessimist sees only the red stoplight.The truly wise person is colorblind.

Albert Schweitzer

http://www.quotes-friendship.com/quotes/colorblind/

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I read a posting recently by someone that contained so much intolerance toward the beliefs of others that I could barely contain the rage I felt bubbling toward the surface. But, I decided to take a deep breath, count to 10 and then do a bit of finger walking through the pages of my trusty handbook that I turn to for guidance, inspiration and solace. You see, contained within its texts, I just knew I could always turn to something… anything… to support my mantra…. which is, as far as I am concerned, one that embraces two core values: 1) Love thy neighbor and 2) Do unto others as you would have them do unto you! Well, imagine my surprise when I discovered that there is, in reality, very little in regard to tolerance contained within all of those pages of the Bible whose versions I use regularly… the King James Version, New King James, American Standard Version, New International Bible, and English Standard Version. Oh there are loads of instances of religious intolerance. But in the Old Testament? “Nada”, except for Micah prophesying about a coming time (who knows when), when nations will stop making war (Micah 4:3-5). And in the New Testament, what I could glean was a few passages that looked at the issue of tolerance solely between Christians. Yes, Jesus did treat the Samaritan women at the well with respect (John 4:7-27). But even the guarantee of entering Heaven’s gates? Yep, except for a section written by Paul, in Romans 2:14-16, where an exception is made whereby those whose hearts know the core beliefs of Christianity, even if they do not openly practice the faith, will be judged at the appropriate time, it seems as if entrance is reserved for those who knowingly choose to accept Christ as their personal Savior! And then it struck me. We really have evolved very little in 5000 years, despite what we may think about the matter!

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Well I refuse to believe this is what my Lord and Savior asks of me. I believe He asks of me to respect all people and that means respecting their right to believe what brings them a measure of comfort. And if this damns me to Hell…. well, so be it! You see, I know that for the survival of the human race, something I know God wants for we, His children, we must see only the things that unite us as members of the human race, and not the things that divide us one from the other such as skin color, political view or even (dare I say it?) religion!!!!! So, for me, anyway, “RED and YELLOW, BLACK and WHITE, they are (all) precious in His sight”! Yes, I am a Christian. That comprises the core values of faith which bring me comfort and peace. But that does not mean my Jewish friends or my Muslim friends or my Hindi friends, or my Buddhist friends, rank somewhere below me in the eyes of my Father! Because it will be the linked arms of us all, standing side by side, united for the betterment of mankind that will see the world turn from the diversity of our cultures and toward the unity of a human love that will mirror the miracle of God’s divine love!

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Here is “Jesus Loves The Little Children”
performed by Gary, from his “A Hymn A Week” project!

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“If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother.”

1 John 4:20-21 ESV

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Copyright © 2011-2013 “MandysPath” Ministry